Bedford artist debuts work in Cambria


Elzbieta Pastwa

Artist Heather Davis speaks at her exhibition “The Gift of Color” at the Community Arts Center of Cambria County Jan. 25. Her exhibit is to be on display until Feb. 28.

Elzbieta Pastwa, Staff Writer

A foggy and dark day Jan. 25 did not stop amateur painters who visited a new Heather Davis’s exhibition, “The Gift of Color”, at the Community Arts Center of Cambria County in Westmont.

On that day, 25 people sat in the gallery in a circle surrounded by 37 oil paintings on canvas, and enjoyed a free opening reception, including a one-hour artist’s talk.

Davis earned a bachelor’s degree in Fine Art in Painting at Rhode Island School of Design. 

One year ago, she moved to Bedford County, where her mother is originally from.

“I started painting in college,” Davis said. 

“Painting is not relaxing for me, it is not fun. I feel the sense of accomplishing. I am never happy with what I did. I work hours and hours. To do a portrait, it takes me one and half years. 

“I get up in the morning, have breakfast with my parents and paint until dinner.”

The collection included six years of Davis’s painting, and was about people and places in the Allegheny Mountains.  It is to be on display through Feb. 28.

“Sometimes I work in plain air, sometimes in a studio with many photographs to make sure that my painting is not flat,” she said. 

“Thousands of my photographs were never painted.”

“My colors are saturated,” Davis said. 

“I stay away from the white color to make light. 

“A common practice is to put a dark color first, then a light color. I do not do it. 

“Let color be what it is. Using my technique, the light comes through, I get 3D and stained glass impressions, and an oil transparency.”

Thomas Crocco, a Johnstown resident, said Jan. 25 was his first time at the community arts center.

“I really enjoy this colorful painting and today’s atmosphere,” he said. 

“Also, I met a few my friends, who I didn’t expect to meet here. I am glad that the center will expand this year, and we will have more space to enjoy art in our community.”

Angela Godin, center executive director, said that she was excited to continue a collaboration with Davis. 

Davis was offered a teaching position in Center and her next exhibition was planned in June.

“We plan to have nine more exhibitions authored by different artists this year,” said Godin. 

“Moreover, Log Art Theatre will give six American farce performances in February. 

“Also, we will have four coffee house series with free music nights.”

“I encourage everybody to become a member of our center for just $15 for an individual with benefits, including discounts on classes, workshops, and event tickets,” she said.

According to a center flyer, membership is an expression of support for the belief that the arts are vital to enriching the cultural life of our community.